Michael Sam's announcement may help the 2014 Gay Games - 19 Action News|Cleveland, OH|News, Weather, Sports

Michael Sam's announcement may help the 2014 Gay Games

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Michael Sam (Source:CBS) Michael Sam (Source:CBS)
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    Cleveland (WOIO) - Michael Sam, the Missouri Tigers defensive end and reigning SEC Defensive Player of the Year, may have stunned the sports world on Sunday night when he told ESPN that he is gay, butMore >>
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(WOIO) -

University of Missouri football player, Michael Sam says he's gay.

Sam told his college teammates last year and this year if he's chosen in the draft, he would become the first openly gay pro football player.

Most think Sam should be drafted anywhere from the second to the fourth round but with big dollars on the line, he told ESPN and the New York Times that he is an openly, proud gay man.

No one is discounting the importance of what Michael Sam has done.

"I think this is huge," says Tom Nobbe, the executive director of the 2014 Gay Games.

The Gay Games is set to play out in Cleveland this summer and he see's Michael Sam's decision to become the first openly gay man in the NFL, as another step in the nation's changing attitudes towards gays.

"I think it's reflective of the fact that he comes from a generation where it's truly not as big a deal anymore," says Nobbe.

Polls show a monumental acceptance gap between the young and old when it comes to gay marriage.

With Michael Sam taking his current position, questions come to mind such as:

-Will the young people in his NFL locker room accept him?
-Has he hurt his draft status?
-Has he cost himself money?

"He is pretty grounded, he seems like he knew what he was doing and he's willing to take that risk" says Nobbe.

Socially, Nobbe expects Sam's decision to open more doors and maybe even provide the push some may need to come to Cleveland this summer.

"We hope that he sets an example for young athletes who may be nervous about coming to Gay Games in Cleveland and they may say ‘You know what I'm going to come and participate in the Gay Games.'"

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